Lest anyone forget, this is the year of Luigi. Largely on account of a dearth of post-E3 game launches, ‘New Super Luigi U’ stands tall this week without even a hint of a haunted mansion, among other motley titles in this week’s Videogame Releases.
New Super Luigi U (eShop)
‘New Super Luigi U’ arrives this week on the Nintendo eShop as DLC for the ‘New Mario Bros. U’ Wii U launch title. The add-on creates a version of the game where Mario has been cast off and 82 all new stages replace the original levels. With Mario out, a four player party will be made up of Luigi, Blue Toad, Yellow Toad and Nabbit. Nabbit is an unfortunate-looking side character from ‘New Super Mario Bros. U’. In the normal game, Nabbit would steal from Toad’s house and thereby cause players to chase him across levels. Nabbit will be irregular to play as he/she/it will not be able use power-ups. Instead, he’ll be invulnerable to enemies, which makes him the de facto choice for players who aren’t so good at ‘New Super Mario Bros’. style gameplay.
While eShop add-on will be available this week for $20, Nintendo will also release a physical copy of ‘New Super Luigi U‘ that will work without the main game on August 25th for $30. Nintendo has said the physical copy is meant for those players unwilling to pony up for the original $50 game and the DLC. Really, it adds another title for the Wii U section of a game store. And with its green case, it’s likely to be somewhat of a collectible. Plus, Nintendo’s ownership rules and storage solutions for eShop content make a physical copy preferable for many.
In all honesty, what makes the ‘New Super Luigi U’ interesting to me is its odd DLC origin. The idea that the creative teams were given freedom to remake all of the levels of the game suggests some promising bits of ingenuity. Too bad the hard copy is so far off.
Knights of Pen & Paper: +1 Edition (PC, Mac)
‘Knights of Pen & Paper’ has been the mobile game to take the tabletop back. That is, the tabletop within the game. The entire ‘D&D’ style RPG occurs within the game, making it like an RPG within a RPG. (Just think of ‘Inception’.) ‘Knights of Pen & Paper: +1‘ brings an updated version of the game to PCs and Macs (and eventually back to mobile).
By bringing the scale of pen and paper RPGs to the mobile platform like no other, the game has been super addictive for many. The cutesy pixel art style really suits most of the game and helps keep the concept of fun in focus. On the other hand, there’s a lot of game to be had here, which means grinding, grinding and more grinding. For me, this is great when stuck in an airport, but not so much the rest of the time. Therefore, a desktop version is not something that I particularly want.
Still, tons of little pop culture touches fill the game, and it can feel rewarding to witness them. If I were at an airport and felt like using my laptop, ‘Knights of Pen & Paper: +1 Edition’ might just be the way to go.
Jak and Daxter Collection (PS Vita)
Here comes a re-release. The ‘Jak and Daxter Collection‘ for the PS Vita sports three remastered PS2-era games, ‘Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy’, ‘Jak II’ and ‘Jak 3’. The remastering means HD texture upgrades for all three titles and Trophy support. Those features give this version an edge over playing old PS2 copies. I’ve never played a ‘Jak and Daxter’ title, but the franchise’s reputation is extremely high with those that have.
The three games are noticeably different in tech level despite all originally coming from the PS2. Tapping into classic games like this is a great option for someone who missed them like I did, especially after playing Naughty Dog’s ‘Uncharted’ and ‘The Last of Us’. Unfortunately, we’re talking about games that have now been released for the PS2, the PS3 and the PS Vita, with nary a cross compatibility. While I may pick up the collection as an impulse buy, I’d prefer a version that was forward-compatible with the PS4.
Magrunner: Dark Pulse (PC)
Much like similar titles such as ‘Quantum Conundrum’ and ‘Portal’ before it, ‘Magrunner: Dark Pulse‘ is all about solving puzzling 3D chambers. Traversing through each difficult room is accomplished by manipulating the environment, which this time around involves magnetic tech. As a magrunner, players can shoot objects and purposely shift their magnetic polarity. That, plus a robot dog means that it’s time to enter the training facility.
Don’t doubt the game’s low-key origins. It looks and plays great, with a touch less whimsy than ‘Quantum Conundrum’. That said, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend buying ‘Magrunner’ before getting ‘Portal’. Heck, just about anyone would be wise to check out GLaDOS in ‘Portal’ before ‘Pacific Rim’. A version of ‘Magrunner: Dark Pulse’ for XBLA and for PSN is due at some point soon.